Dell Goes with Mellanox VPI Combo Cards for IB and 10 GigE

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Mellanox announced this week that Dell blade systems are now available with their single adapter cards that do both 40Gb/s InfiniBand and 10 Gigabit Ethernet for cost-effective connectivity. Designed for data center servers and storage systems, the Mellanox ConnectX-2 I/O mezzanine adapter cards use the company’s Virtual Protocol Interconnect (VPI) technology, which provides the flexibility to support many communication protocols and network fabrics over a single device.

The demands on data center I/O connectivity continue to increase with the deployment of many-core CPUs, virtualization, networked storage, clustered databases, and low-latency applications in financial services, Cloud computing, Web 2.0, and the commercial high-performance computing sector,” said John Monson, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “The combination of Mellanox’s InfiniBand and Ethernet connectivity products and Dell blade servers provides a simplified, cost-effective solution that meets next-generation data center and cluster performance and flexibility requirements, all while reducing capital expense and networking complexity.”

To me, the cool thing about these VPI cards is that they auto-sense the switch fabric and configure their ports to support InfiniBand or Ethernet automatically. With support for industry-standard RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE), you can boot from remote InfiniBand or LAN storage targets, which, in theory, would make life a whole lot easier for the hardworking folks out there who keep the datacenter running.